After the major flop known as the HP TouchPad, webOS might have seemed destined for the grave, but HP just announced that the platform will live on—but as an open source project.
In a press release, HP said it will make the code for webOS available to developers under an open source license. Though developers will be shaping the future of the OS, the company will still be involved with development, engineering, and support.
While opening the OS to the developer community could keep webOS afloat, it’s also a clear indication that HP couldn’t generate any interest from potential buyers or licensees. Given that HP paid a hefty $1.2 billion to purchase Palm and its webOS in 2010, it’s understandable that it would want the OS to live on. We’ll just have to wait and see if the open source community delivers on that hope.
If you’re one of the adventurous souls who bought a TouchPad or Pre device, HP says you can expect software updates in the future. Many are already predicting that the company will release additional HP webOS devices, though that also remains to be seen.